A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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Arsehole to breakfast time

British slang for all the time, all day and through the night, dates from the late 19th/early 20th century.


This word in its literal sense has been in use since the early 1400s. Its slang figurative use to describe a contemptible person is more modern and da...

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Meaning drunk is slang dating from the mid-20th century, although the OED gives arseholed meaning drunk from only 1982. The OED’s dates of origin usua...

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Art for art’s sake

This became a popular slogan among French writers and artists during the 19th century before it was later adopted in English. Perhaps the most well-kn...

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Artful dodger

British rhyming slang for lodger, artful dodger/lodger. It is one of the oldest rhyming slang expressions recorded and dates from 1857.

As clear as a bell

see Clear/sound as a bell

As cold as stone

see Cold as stone

As good as gold

see Good as gold

As is one’s wont

see Wont

As luck would have it

This expression was coined by Shakespeare in The Merry Wives of Windsor Act III, Scene V, “As good luck would have it.”

As neat as a pin/new pin

see Neat as a pin

As right as rain

see Right as rain

As sound as a bell

see Clear/sound as a bell

As the actress said to the bishop

This classic music-hall line dates from the early 20th century, before the First World War, and precedes or follows a perfectly innocent line turning...

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As the crow flies

This means in a straight, direct line without making any of the detours involved in following a road that may twist and turn. The allusion is obviousl...

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